Skating competition pumps $1.5 million into city's economy - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

By Chris Conte

Skating competition pumps $1.5 million into city's economy

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC)-- Local experts are expecting more than $1.5 million to be pumped into Rochester's economy next week as more than 2,000 figure skaters come into town for a four day long championship tournament.

"As far as room nights and athletes they say this is the biggest event they've had," says Ann Miksch of the Professional Skaters Association of Rochester.

Miksch says there are currently 2,460 athletes registered for this year's Midwestern and Pacific Coast Synchronized Skating Sectional Championships. Skaters from nearly 33 state will be making their way to Minnesota on Wednesday, some as far away as California.

"The hotels are packed, it's quite and economic boom for the city," adds Miksch.

Officials say the tournament will be the largest amateur sporting event ever held in Rochester.

"I'm excited, I've been working for the past almost a year with the teams," Kristine Ihrke, sales manager at the Best Western in Rochester.

Landing this event at the Graham Arena has taken well over two years but with thousands of young skaters set to arrive on Wednesday, it will be a shot in the arm for the city's hibernating economy.

"Luckily these figure skaters are used to the cold and I think that some days it might be warmer in the arena than outside."

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